THE ABSENCE OF A CREATIVE FOCUS IN THE CONVENTIONAL ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS: IDENTIFYING RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES TO ADDRESS THIS
Keywords:Creativity, Creativity in engineering, Engineering design
This paper synthesises an overview of various models of the engineering design process with an overview of the most relevant theories within the field of creativity studies to conclude that (i) creativity plays a role throughout the engineering design process, and it is possible to incorporate creativity into the engineering design process in a systematic manner; (ii) doing so, at the very least, holds significant potential for economic benefit; and (iii) due to the complex interplay between creativity and the wide range of factors that influence it, organisational climates and management practices cannot simply be assumed to support creativity effectively. It is proposed that organisations be managed proactively to support creativity in engineering design. For this study, a structured literature search protocol was implemented to determine whether there is any evidence in the literature that engineering organisations are being managed proactively with this in mind; none was found. Two opportunities for future research are suggested based on these findings: (i) the development of a framework to guide the proactive management of engineering organisations to support creativity; and (ii) the development of mechanisms for measuring creativity in engineering organisations and engineering design.
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